The images here are from the unveiling of the new model in Ukraine, where the Toyota Aurion is badged as a Camry.
Aside from a few localisation design tweaks expected for the Australian-spec model, the images give us an accurate look at the new Aurion some six or seven months before the vehicle hits our shores in February/March 2012.
The new Aurion’s 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine produces 204kW of power and 346Nm of torque – up 4kW/10Nm from 200kW and 336Nm. The six-speed automatic transmission from the current model carries over into the 2012 model.
According to the data for the Ukrainian-spec model, the new Aurion’s combined cycle fuel consumption is 9.3 litres/100km. In Australia, the outgoing model is rated at 9.9 litres/100km, suggesting efficiency gains of around six per cent. A 50kg reduction in total vehicle weight – down from 1590kg to 1540kg – is likely to be one of the major fuel-saving factors.
At 4825mm long, 1825mm wide, 1480mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2775mm, the new Aurion is just 5mm wider and 10mm taller than the outgoing model, with the basic structure carried over into the new model.
The exterior design evolution is less dramatic than the changes to our new Camry. From the front, the new Toyota Aurion gets a sharper headlight assembly and a more prominent grille. The bonnet has also been redesigned, giving the new model a bolder stance.
The doors are largely carried over, although with some new character lines and contours.
The rear has a more upright appearance, emphasised by stronger lines and sharper edges on the bumper. The taillights are stubbier and appear to creep around the body less than before, while the boot lid is flatter and cleaner.
The interior also receives a number of updates. The four-spoke steering wheel is completely new and, like the current wheel, incorporates a range of buttons for audio and other functions.
The instrument cluster is revised slightly, while the centre console creates a much more mature cabin ambiance. The buttons, dials and switched have all been upgraded, but largely appear to be laid out in similar positions.
The woodgrain panel across the passenger side of the dashboard is also much broader than in the outgoing model. Combined with the stitched leather, it gives the new model a more modern and refined look than the current rounded design and its skinny wood strip.
Official details of the Australian-spec 2012 Toyota Aurion are not expected to be revealed until later this year or early in 2012.
Toyota Australia will no doubt be hoping the updates give its Camry-based V6 family sedan a sales boost in the new year. Over the first seven months of 2011, Toyota sold 5051 Aurions across the country, down 28.6 per cent (or 2021 units) compared with the same period in 2010.
The Aurion currently sits third in the large car segment, behind the Holden Commodore (24,583 units) and the Ford Falcon (10,918).
The new Ukrainian-spec Camry is set to hit European showrooms in October.
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